Last month, the Hawkeyes also appeared to have one of the league's better rushing tandems in Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock.
But after rushing for 147 yards in a win at Minnesota, Weisman hasn't cracked 60 in the past four games. Though Bullock was able to make up for some of that against Ohio State and in an OT win over Northwestern, he's got just 370 yards and one touchdown with three games left.
"Safeties are coming down a little harder, filling in a little harder than they typically do when we watch film against other teams. But that's expected against the way we had been running the ball," Weisman said. "You have to break those tackles."
Iowa's struggles on offense were never more evident than in last week's loss to Wisconsin.
The Hawkeyes settled for three fields from less than 30 yards out, while the Badgers converted two Iowa interceptions into touchdowns that put the game out of reach. Iowa will almost certainly find yards easier to come by against the Boilermakers, who are allowing 37.1 points a game. But Michigan and Nebraska loom on the other side of a bye.
Though those games against the Wolverines and Huskers are winnable in theory, the Hawkeyes know they can't continue to struggle on offense and expect their standout defense to carry them to victory.
"I'm not overly thrilled with what we're doing right now. We need to amp it up," Ferentz said.
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